Econic Technologies develops tunable catalyst for CO2 conversion

Aug 30 2017

The catalyst, developed by a team of British scientists, converts CO2 into polyols, a key building block in polyurethane plastics.

With a global market valued in excess of £15 billion, polyols are the key building blocks in polyurethane, which is used to make automobiles, bedding, furniture, footwear and other household and industrial products.

Econic Technologies’ new tunable catalyst now enables polyol manufacturers to incorporate bespoke amounts of captured CO2 emissions into these polyol chains during the manufacturing process. The amount of CO2 can be dialled up or down depending on the performance requirements of the application.

The tunable catalyst means that CO2 can be incorporated at low pressures via equipment that is retrofitted easily and economically to existing production plants. By allowing for a reduction of oil-based feedstocks, the catalyst could save a typical production unit with an output of 50kte/annum in excess of £36 million per year.

What’s more, not only does the catalyst enable manufacturers to use their own carbon dioxide emissions as a raw material, but by reducing quantities of environmentally demanding, oil-based inputs, it further lowers emissions.

Dr Rowena Sellens, CEO of Econic Technologies, commented on the launch, “From cars and mattresses, to footwear and fridges, polyols and the polyurethanes they make are a fundamental component of an incredibly wide range of applications. The positive potential for businesses and the planet, provided by Econic Technologies’ catalysts, is huge – and so are our ambitions.”

“As the tunable catalyst moves out the lab and into mainstream use, we are aiming to work with our customers to totally transform polyurethane manufacturing: making it greener, cheaper and safer.”

Founded in 2011 by Charlotte Williams, now Professor of Catalysis and Materials Chemistry at the University of Oxford, Econic Technologies pioneers catalyst technologies for application within the plastics industry. The team of 26 includes more than 20 scientists and engineers. The underlying catalyst technology was developed at Imperial College London.

Econic Technologies

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